Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Eng John Barorot has affirmed the county’s willingness to partner with various stakeholders to support the growth of cooperative societies.
He was speaking on Friday while hosting a delegation of 17 staff from the Somali Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives leaders led by Ahmed Keinan, who are in the county to learn from the Kenyan grain farming co-ops and their successes in efficiency and post-harvest management.
Barorot noted that registered cooperatives provide a platform for people to come together for economic empowerment. He thanked the Somali delegation for choosing to benchmark with Uasin Gishu cooperatives, and highlighted the importance of trust and loyalty in the cooperative movement.
He also announced that the county is putting up infrastructure at its upcoming County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIP), which will focus on the output from farming and where cooperatives will be able to do value addition and be linked to markets.
County Executive Committee Member for Trade and Cooperatives Martha Cheruto said that some of the cooperatives in Uasin Gishu have begun to realize the importance of diversification and multi-value chain mechanisms. She added that one of the roles of the county government is to carry out capacity building for cooperatives and expose them to international markets.
The Somali delegation also visited Tuiyo FCS to benchmark on their management practices and how the support from the county department of cooperatives has helped them improve grain production and diversify into other areas, such as dairy farming.
The East Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has been in the county for the last one week conducting trainings to various farmer cooperatives on grain quality management as part of an initiative to improve post-harvest management.
The delegation also included representatives from the Kenya and Somalia Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Overall, the visit by the Somali delegation is a positive development that could lead to increased collaboration between Uasin Gishu County and Somalia in the area of cooperative development